I, like many other people (and particularly women), have a complicated relationship with food. On the one hand, enjoying a bowl of Mom’s mac and cheese, sampling all the foods at Food Cart Fest, and sharing plates of sushi (and feelings) with a good friend are some of my favourite things to do. But on the other hand, I turn to food when I’m experiencing unsavoury feelings; I beat myself up when I haven’t worked out enough to “cancel out” the calories I’ve consumed (though I literally have never counted calories in my life); and I often go through the cycle of crave, inhale, repent, repeat.
I thought this was just how my relationship with food would be forever, but I had a glimpse of something different during my stint (albeit short) as a single lady between serious relationships.
All of a sudden what to have for dinner was no longer this big looming question, and dinner itself was not an event, it was just something I did to refuel after a workout or a walk or in between work and a date with Netflix. So rather than spending all this time planning and shopping and prepping and cooking and eating, my time was spent doing other things that made me happy, such as exercising and socializing. Then when I was hungry I’d throw something together; maybe it would be a smoothie, maybe a fried egg with sauteed kale, or maybe a simple salad. Whatever it was my life didn’t revolve around it. And it felt great.
Now it’s not to say I didn’t enjoy eating. I thoroughly enjoyed it. These dinners I made were fast, fresh, healthy, and used very few ingredients. Sometimes simple is better. Plus, the less time I spent stressing about food the less I ate out of anxiousness. And the more time I spent being active and socializing the less I ate out of boredom–not to mention my endorphin levels were through the roof.
So, what ended up happening is I actually lost weight. And I never felt deprived. Then on those days that I went out for a meal I didn’t worry about what I was eating or ordering. I just ate, enjoyed, and then moved on.
Anyway, fast-forward to a year and a half into a committed relationship and I’m back to the life-revolves-around-dinner rhythm. Of course the most logical solution to the problem is to become single again. But logical and love don’t always mesh, so that’s not even remotely an option. So I’m kind of stuck. Do I insist we do separate dinners? Do I make him smoothies for dinner, too? I’m open to ideas …
And in the meantime, whenever he’s away for the night, I get to have one of my no-fuss dinners. Tonight it’s Rye Crackers 4 Ways.
1. tuna, sriracha, sprouts
2. goat cheese, pear, honey, cinnamon
3. hummus, cucumber, Epicure Red Garlic Sansel (any seasoning will do)
4. artichoke hearts in oil, diced baby kale, Vegenaise, Epicure Hot Artichoke Dip (salt and pepper would be fine)